Are you a victim of the blizzard that has hit US? If yes, then you will appreciate a peculiar kind of concrete that is capable of melting any snow that lands on it. Yes, in simpler words; no need for shoveling! The conductive concrete has been created by Chris Tuan of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The unique concrete features steel shavings and carbon particles (20% by volume) in enough amount to make the solidified material a conductor of electricity. Upon passing current, heat is generated and any snow and ice on the concrete is melted. It is, however, safe to touch.
Tuan is a professor of civil engineering and along with his research team is working in collaboration with the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) for the testing of concrete. As per Tuan, the FAA is interested in potentially using the technology at airports.
He said, “To my surprise, they don’t want to use it for the runways. What they need is the tarmac around the gated areas cleared, because they have so many carts to unload – luggage service, food service, trash service, fuel service – that all need to get into those areas. They said that if we can heat that kind of tarmac, then there would be far fewer weather-related delays.”
Tuan’s conductive concrete’s first application won’t be at the airport. A similar form of this material was used back in 2002 on a bridge and is known to be functional. He states that it is not cost effective to make complete roads using this concrete, however, it can be installed on precise installations to facilitate movement during snowing season such as intersections, exit ramps, sidewalks and driveways.
The conductive concrete will continue its testing with FAA until March of 2016.